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Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC)

What is WACC?

WACC, or Weighted Average Cost of Capital, is a financial metric used to measure a company's average cost of capital, considering debt and equity financing. This metric helps businesses understand the overall cost of financing their operations and investments. In this article, we'll show how to calculate CapEx, discuss its importance, and suggest strategies for improvement.

How to calculate the WACC

Here's the WACC formula:

Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC) = (E/V) × Re + (D/V) × Rd × (1 - Tc)


  • *E* represents the market value of the company's equity
  • *D* represents the market value of the company's debt
  • *V* is the total value of the company's capital (E + D)
  • *Re* is the cost of equity
  • *Rd* is the cost of debt
  • *Tc* is the corporate tax rate

WACC calculation example

Let's consider a real-world example of a company looking to finance a new project. We'll use the following data to calculate the WACC:

  • Market value of equity (E): $10,000,000
  • Market value of debt (D): $5,000,000
  • Cost of equity (Re): 12%
  • Cost of debt (Rd): 6%
  • Corporate tax rate (Tc): 25%

Calculate the total value of the company's capital (V) by adding the market value of equity and the market value of debt:

V = E + D

V = $10,000,000 + $5,000,000

V = $15,000,000

Now input the values into the Equation and solve:Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC) = (E/V) × Re + (D/V) × Rd × (1 - Tc)

WACC = ($10,000,000 / $15,000,000) x 12% + ($5,000,000 / $15,000,000) x 6% x (1 - 25%)

WACC = 0.67 x 12% + 0.33 x 6% x 75%

WACC = 8.04% + 1.49%

WACC = 9.53%

In this example, the company's weighted average cost of capital is 9.53%, which means that, on average, it costs the company 9.53% to finance its new project through a combination of debt and equity.

Why is WACC important to understand?

Understanding WACC is important for several reasons:

  1. Investment decisions: WACC serves as a benchmark for evaluating the potential return on investment of a project or acquisition. If the expected return on a project is higher than the WACC, it indicates that the project is likely to create value for the company. Conversely, the project may not be worth pursuing if the expected return is lower than the WACC.
  2. Capital structure optimization: By analyzing the WACC, companies can determine the optimal mix of debt and equity financing that minimizes their cost of capital. This helps businesses make informed decisions about their capital structure, improving financial performance and increasing shareholder value.
  3. Performance evaluation: WACC can be used to assess a company's overall financial performance. Comparing a company's WACC to industry averages or competitors' WACC can provide insights into its financing strategy's efficiency and ability to generate returns for investors.

Strategies for improving the WACC

Here are some strategies that can help improve your WACC:

  1. Optimize capital structure: Regularly review and adjust your company's mix of debt and equity financing to minimize the overall cost of capital. This may involve increasing the proportion of lower-cost debt or equity in your capital structure, depending on market conditions and your company's risk profile. A well-balanced capital structure can lead to a lower WACC, improving your company's financial performance and attractiveness to investors.
  2. Negotiate better financing terms: Work with lenders and investors to secure more favorable financing terms, such as lower interest rates on debt or reduced dividend payouts on equity. This can help reduce the cost of debt (Rd) and the cost of equity (Re), which can lower your WACC. Building strong relationships with financial institutions and maintaining a solid credit rating can be instrumental in achieving better financing terms.
  3. Improve operational efficiency: Focus on streamlining your company's operations and reducing costs to improve profitability and financial performance. This can make your company more attractive to investors, potentially leading to a lower cost of equity. Additionally, a more efficient and profitable company may secure better terms on debt financing, further reducing the cost of debt. By improving operational efficiency, you can positively impact both components of WACC and ultimately lower the metric.

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